Help me dream up compartments for my Jet Age entertainment console


In July, I'm moving into the ground floor of a row house in Bushwick, Brooklyn, along with some friends. It'll be the first time I've lived with roommates in about seven years, but I'm really looking forward to it. (I'm sure I'll be talking about my friends in the future, but suffice it to say they're a bunch of devious, crafty types.)

We're dreaming up all sorts of stuff to do with the house — a wood shop and an electronics shop are already marked out — but before I move all my stuff into the new place, I want to take some time to prepare my bedroom for maximal relaxation. I love my friends dearly, but it's the nature of sharing a living space: you've got to have a great nook to call your own.

I'll have an office space like I have now in my apartment, but more and more I've been working just out of my laptop. I don't expect that to change. So I want to try to integrate my entertainment gear — a big LCD HDTV, videogame consoles, and a Windows gaming PC — into my bedroom. At my current place, all that stuff lives on a desk in my bedroom, but it dominates the room. I plan on being in this new space for the foreseeable future, so I'd like to do something better.

Hence, a false wall entertainment center. It's a "false wall" because I intend to mask it as a large console. In fact, my whole bedroom is going to try to be of a theme, sort of a Jet Age operations lounge. Think mid-century modern submarine captain or evil genius in lounge wear. But I'm not going for kitsch, per se, but more a theme. More movie set than collection of tchotchkes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The theme will come together in time, probably after I move in. I've already been scouting out sources of paneling and wood. (I will probably end up cobbling a lot of it from reclaimed furniture and repurposed Ikea hardware.)

What I need to figure out now is infrastructure. What I actually want the whole thing to do. That way I can go ahead and frame in the structural bits and then add the visual (and perhaps literal) veneer later.

Above is my very rough sketch. I'll probably just use 2x4s and cheap pine (or some pressboard bookshelves) for the structure itself. Probably about two feet deep. But I need to start thinking about power, conduits, heat management, all that good stuff. And most of all what I want it to do. Do I want little blinkenlight consoles? A trap-door that reveals a secret uniform? A panel that, when depressed, slides up to reveal rocks glasses and a bottle of bourbon?

I thought you guys might like to chime in. If you could start building a secret spy console in your bedroom, what functions and features would you add? (I don't mind chrome for the sake of it, but the more functional, the better.)

Inspiration: The Incredibles, Venture Bros., Eames-era whatever, analog gauges, the Worgelt Study, Disney's Adventurer's Club, early Syd Mead U.S. Steel and Phillips concepts, this wall, early NASA.

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